theglassheart: By Me (pic#11087890)
[personal profile] theglassheart
The flights end up late, and it feels like he's chasing the ghost of a glimmer of light, one that he's already lost sight of, again, across an entire world of night. Leaving in the dark of Russia's night, and the windows never brighten. Even as hours and hours pass. He doesn't think he'll sleep, but he ends up sleeping in fits and starts anyway.

He didn't sleep well the night before, or the night before that. Which isn't all the unusual. Not during competition. But he wasn't forced by Victor to try to sleep during the middle of the day, and he didn't try to catch even a few hours sleep before his flight. He didn't touch the beds except to put his suitcase on it and fold things next to it.

Adding to those, his performance drained everything that was left in him.



He still dreamt shoddily. He dreamt he never made it.
He dreamed they recounted the numbers and he was too far under.
He dreamed and blurred the skate at Rostelecom with his one at his last Grand Prix Finale.

When he was luckiest, he dreamed of nothing. He simply slipped into that ebony, endless black. An embrace of pure exhaustion that didn't feel like sleep, and left him feeling more exhausted, more run over, but at least it didn't startle him awake in the middle of a panic, heart racing, eyes stinging, clutching the armrests, unable to catch his breath at first.

When he can't sleep, he stares unfocused out the window. Or at the barely there shape of his reflection in the double-paned glass of the window. Has the strangest, exhausted snippets of conversations. With Yakov, and Yurio, and Victor, so many times Victor. That start with words they've said, or might say, and ripple out from there.



Anxiety, and exhaustion, and too much waiting again, even more than before the skate. Unable to move from this spot. He looks at his phone more than he should, because he can't convince himself to let go of it most of the time, but he doesn't bother Victor. He's sleeping, he convinces himself several times. And when he might not be, with Maccachin, finally, he tells himself in others. Mostly he tells himself, he'll be there soon, closing the phone. Over and over. He can wait. He's made it this long.

There's so much time to wait, so much to say and he has no one else but himself to say it to. Which had always been true before, too, except now it isn't. Now he has so many things he needs to say to Victor. Victor, who still hasn't started lecturing him, and the longer that goes on, the more he starts to fret that is what is waiting for him in Fukuoka. Like skating to Victor at the side of the rink and it starting. Maybe when he walks in, then it'll start.



It makes his stomach tighten, even when he wants that if that's what it takes. If it'll put Victor back in front of him, he'll listen to the entire thing from beginning to end now. His stomach growls, after his exhausted anxiousness chases that tail for the next half hour, playing different tracks of that lecture, in the airport, with all of those people watching, and leaves him staring at the call button. Thinking about calling for another snack. Or another sealed meal, if he could.

(He's not going to eat the last Pirozh-katsu, long since cold, but wrapped up carefully in its brown paper bag, waiting in his backpack in front of his feet. It may have been given to him, a birthday present or congratulations, to be shared with Yurio, but that one, the very last one, isn't for him.)



What feels like an infinity of hours later still, the announcement overhead starting,
as the wifi finally picks up again, Yuri finally opens his phone, and starts typing,


We just landed.

Date: 2017-07-19 02:16 am (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by cherrytini (a world I've never known)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp
This has been one of the longest days he can remember dragging by for more time than he cares to think too closely about. Sleep, after he talks with Yuri and waits up to first send his credit card information and then receive confirmation of the flight, is impossible. He waits for hours in the dark room, checking his phone for a message from Yuri saying he's at the airport, has boarded, is about to take off.

It'll be hours yet. Nearly an entire day. He should sleep. His whole body cries out for it, fatigue poisons running sick through his veins, but every time he closes his eyes and finds some shallow semblance of unconsciousness, it's anything but restful. Disturbed and fretful dreams: about Yuri, about Maccachin. They feature Yakov and Yurio and Minako, put him back in St. Petersburg, bring him back to a Sochi hotel room in a December better left forgotten.

It's not surprising for him to be up before the dawn even now, when he isn't the one training, but when he finally gives up and finds his jogging pants, his red and white Russian Olympic Team jacket, and trainers, morning is a word that could be only generously used. A few people are up and about as he jogs down the street, backpack of gear strapped firmly to his back, but not many: night shift workers driving home, a few early delivery drivers. It feels good to have something to focus on, a direction to move, even if it's only to remember to put one foot down in front of the other, over and over again, until his muscles warm and his breath begins to quicken. Something mindless, something he knows he can do: run for miles with no company but his breath and the soft sound of his feet hitting the ground.

(No Maccachin running in front of him;

no Yuri running after him.)


The sun is barely seeping light into the horizon when he reaches the beach and pauses watch it slowly lighten the sky. He should feel that way, lightening by increments. Maccachin will be fine, and he can get him later today. Yuri will go to the Grand Prix Final, and he'll be home tonight. Everything worked out. Everyone is safe and healthy and whole.

So why doesn't he feel it?

Instead, the slow bleeding of sunlight into the sky, seeping clear gold and white and seaglass blue along the edge of the water and into the night (so much shorter here than in Moscow, in St. Petersburg) fills him with dread, the guilt that's been gnawing at him now for a day and half across thousands of miles sitting cold in his stomach.

(How can he call himself a coach?)

It doesn't get any smaller the further he runs from the beach --

I just want you to be Victor!

-- and by the time he reaches the Ice Palace, it feels as if it has filled his entire stomach.

No one else is here yet, either, but the Nishigoris are used to Yuri coming by at odd hours, and his coach --

(that man thinks only of himself!)


-- is as welcome there now as he is. Nishigori himself appears around the second hour of Victor's practice, but he doesn't say anything, only lifts his hand in a greeting that Victor, now sweating and exhausted in a whole new way (but still burning to do something, push further, go harder) appreciates. Nishigori is a more perceptive man than he may at first seem, and there have been many mornings, afternoons, evenings, when Victor has enjoyed a chat with him over a meal or while skates are being sharpened, but he's not ready to talk just now.

But he also can't stay at the Ice Palance until it's time to leave to pick up Maccachin and Yuri -- although he does extend his time when a group of small children come for their lesson with Yuuko, and are thrilled when Victor Nikiforov opts to join their class for the hour. It feels like the first time he's laughed in an age, skating hand in hand with a four year old girl who can't stop blushing.

It doesn't lighten him up enough to fool Minako when he runs into her at the onsen, though. Although in every other conceivable way they are different, there's something about the narrow way she peers at him that reminds him irrevocably of Yakov...but Yakov would never haul him off to a ramen stand to discuss the happenings of the last few weeks over noodles so hot he starts sweating all over again just slurping up his first mouthful.

But it feels like the first break of relief: spicy noodles, hot tea, and Minako watching him over it all. She's coached Yuri for years, understands him in a way no one else in the world does, the way Yakov understands him. If there's anyone he can talk to about all these questions and uncertainties running through his head like veins of ice threatening to crack a boulder into shards, it's her.

Which is not to say she is always especially sympathetic. She's still annoyed with him for Shanghai, and this is the first chance she's gotten to really give him the earful she's been nuturing for over a full week, and he might actually feel abashed, if there were even a single moment of it all that he regretted.

(Other than leaving. Any moment up to that one.)

Once she's exhausted her annoyance, though, she's all ears and advice, and it feels like the first useful thing he's done today. Just as she focuses Yuri's movements, guides him towards more perfect precision, she guides his thought process now: What leaving Moscow meant. How he can do better. What Yuri will need from him now, as a coach, to be ready for the Grand Prix Final.

Little by little, the day rolls away, until it's time at last to find his coat and scarf and borrow the keys to Minako's car to go pick up Maccachin on his way to Fukuoka.

(the moment the vet brings Maccachin around into the waiting area and he sees Victor and goes into a mad scuffle of wagging tail, lolling tongue, and rapid feet, all leaning hard against the vet's assistant, who finds himself tugged nearly off his feet in Maccachin's haste to be in Victor's open arms, to lick his face, paws up on Victor's shoulders, while Victor hugs him and pushes his face into familiar soft curly fur, is the first time he can't actually hold back the wetness in his eyes and the tightness in his chest that cinches and cinches and cinches until he can't breathe, it's too big, until it breaks, cracking in a relieved sob he doesn't care if anyone hears)

Which all leads him to here, Fukuoka's airport, sitting in this hard plastic seat with Maccachin panting gently against his knee, waiting for the text that finally (finally, finally) vibrates his phone.

Making something jerk hard and painful in his chest in a way that feels like a sob that never reaches his throat, his eyes, before he's replying.

We're here waiting for you.

Date: 2017-07-20 12:22 am (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by cherrytini (running after you)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp
He got here too early, probably. Even after Yuri texts that he's landed, it'll take him ages to deplane and make his way through the rabbit warren that is any airport, even a small one like Fukuoka, even from a short commuter flight. It feels interminable, and he tries to resist the temptation to keep texting Yuri, asking where he is, or to look down at his phone and hope for a message bubble to appear on his screen. He's never been prone to nervous motion, which is good because otherwise he thinks he might jitter this seat loose of its bolts. Maccachin is a comforting, calming warmth against his leg, and he puts his hand on the curly head rather than into his pocket for his phone.

(Has it only been two days?

The whole of the fifteen months in St. Petersburg before coming here never felt this long.)

Under his palm, Maccachin's head lifts, and then his body stiffens, collecting himself in a bunch of muscle and wagging tail, and then throws himself with a bark at the glass barrier between them and the corridor Yuri will come down --

is coming down. Standing there, staring at Maccachin with a comical looks of surprise rounding his eyes above the mask he wears when he travels, and when Victor stands up, it feels like he's moving in a dream, or under water. Nothing feels connected, nothing feels like a choice he makes, not even starting to run when he sees Yuri do the same, unable to take his eyes off the figure past the glass. Yuri pulls down his mask. Yuri's arms are pumping and his strides and lengthening. Yuri is sprinting, and so is Victor, and so is Maccachin, joyfully bounding at his side, blissfully unaware that this isn't just a happy reunion. Is it? He doesn't feel happy, or excited, or even relieved. He doesn't feel anything but desperate to get to that sliding glass door that's the last barrier between him and Yuri, and the last five meters feel just as impossible to cover as the thousands of miles Yuri just flew to get here.

But he does get there, stopping right in front of the door as Yuri stops at the glass blocking his way, and Victor throws out his arms to catch him as soon as the door slides easily open and Yuri can come through.

Date: 2017-07-20 12:28 am (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by cherrytini (*hugs*)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp
Yuri slams into him like a wave breaking against a lighthouse, but nothing shatters except for the tension in Victor's chest, and that goes all at once in a release that feels like the sudden bursting of a glass bubble, shards slicing into his heart and lungs and stomach and throat.

(Maybe when tears are held inside for this long they turn to glass and only cut instead of fall.)

Yuri's arms around his ribs, clenching around his back. Yuri's face buried in his chest and then his shoulder, glasses pushing into his collarbone and then the side of his neck. Yuri a blob of winter coat and backpack and a tired travel mess, and the only thing he can do is wrap his arms around Yuri's neck and tuck his face against the side of Yuri's head. Maccachin is wandering around their legs, and he can feel the nudge of a nose that's trying to remind him there's more than one beloved companion here, but he can't let go even for that, can't make a joke, can't find a way to lighten this thing that's expanding and expanding inside his chest until it feels big enough to threaten the whole airport. To crack the glass that was between them until only seconds ago. To race across China and the Siberian plains and all the way to Moscow to turn the long night there into glowing, brilliant day.

He feels like seaglass, transparent and fragile and rounded after being buffeted by waves and rocked by storms and polished by sand. He wants to be held tight in Yuri's palm and pressed to his heart. "Yuri..."

He barely knows what to say, now that he can say it to Yuri directly, instead of through a text or over the phone. He can't believe he ever took having Yuri right there beside him for so many months, never further than a hallway away. Had he thought he was miserable in St. Petersburg?

He no longer thinks he could survive being separated again, even for a minute.

But there are things he should say, as well as things he wants to, has to say. First and foremost.

(He thinks of Minako sitting with him at a booth, toying with her noodles and telling him to man up, you big Russian baby, and be the coach Yuri needs you to be.)

"I've been thinking about what I can do for you as your coach from now on."

Date: 2017-07-20 12:35 am (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by cherrytini (we are too fragile just to guess)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp
It feels right in a way even all the other "right" things in his life have never felt before. It's not like the perfect control of a jump he's practiced until it's muscle memory ingrained so deeply he could do it in his sleep, or the precise angle of his arm or drape of his fingers during a step sequence. It's not the weight of a gold medal against his chest, around his neck, or the flash and glitz of cameras. It's not even the simple rightness of movement, of dance and stretching and the forward momentum of a long run.

All of those thing feel right. All of those things are only him, enjoying the satisfaction of a body in excellent shape, reaping the benefits of decades of intensive training, accepting his natural place in the world. His accomplishments. The delight in simple motion.

This is the first time he's extended that sensation from I to us.

It's right in a way nothing else is, because he's never felt he was missing half of himself before, has never experience what it feels like to become whole after being broken. If he had to compare it, he'd say it's like coming home, except it isn't. He isn't welcoming Yuri back to Hasetsu, he's welcoming Yuri back to him.

It's no longer strange that being in Moscow felt a little odd and off. Russia isn't his home anymore:

Yuri is.


The push at his shoulders takes him by surprise, and he's blinking at Yuri's suddenly clear face (even now, he can't help but notice that Yuri looks especially determined, the way he did when he said please teach me all the jumps you know and I'm going to give it all the eros I've got! and don't ever take your eyes off me), but Yuri doesn't wait long before he's barreling forward just as aggressively, just as passionately as he just did through the door. Saying.

Please.

Saying.


Be mine.


Victor's shoulders and expression loosening, relaxing into the first real smile he's felt since he'd celebrated with Yuri in the kiss and cry what feels like centuries ago. It's tired and worn and nothing like his usual expansive excitement, but it feels like him.

And isn't that what Yuri wants him to be?


It's overwhelming in a new and completely different way: not like being crashed into by a wave, but like floating in crystal clear, warm water and slowly sinking below the surface. Looking up to find everything in front of, above him, suddenly lit through jeweled waves, as clear as it's ever been, more beautiful than words, suffused with sunlight.

It doesn't call for a hug, or a tackle, or even a kiss: it's more subdued than that, more private, more personal, more precious, more fragile. Making him reach for Yuri's hand, to lift it to his lips for a kiss. Because.

"It's almost like a marriage proposal."

Because instead of Victor chasing him, or coaxing him, or waiting for him, Yuri

is saying


stay.

Date: 2017-07-20 12:45 am (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by cherrytini (it's almost like a marriage proposal)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp
It's Yuri's turn to blink, but then, instead of blushing and stammering, or pulling his hands away, or poking fun at Victor for being too ridiculous, or getting annoyed because that's not what he means --

He blushes, yes. But then his expression, so full of tension and determination, relaxes into a smile that makes Victor, floating in his calm warm sea, feel like an ice cube melting all at once.

Yuri doesn't tell him he's ridiculous. Yuri doesn't correct him. Yuri doesn't say he didn't mean it like that. Yuri isn't running away at the thought of it, at the insinuation.

(He knows that's not what Yuri meant, but...

Isn't it, too?


A little?)


But then Yuri is folding back into him, and Victor's arms go back around his neck, feeling, finally, grounded. Like he can feel his feet, his legs, his arms again. Yuri willing him back into existence with this hug. And he knows that's not what Yuri meant, Yuri meant be my coach which may not be separate from everything else anymore but is still only one thing --

And Victor, suddenly, can't stand the thought of a time limit on it. Any of it. Coaching Yuri. Being with him. Beside him. It's only been two days, and it felt like a hundred years.

Words said quiet as a prayer, not lifting further than the distance from his lips to Yuri's ear.

(Lifting from his lips to God's heart.)

"I wish you'd never retire."

Date: 2017-07-20 12:53 am (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by plastic (another sun soaked season fades away)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp
There's a slight pause, and then Yuri shudders a little, curling into him even more, face pressing into his shoulder, fingers clutching at his coat, and when he speaks finally, Victor's not surprised to hear the thickness of tears in his voice.

It's been a long few days, a long few weeks, a long few months, a long few years, and Yuri's fought through it all. First by himself, and then with Victor at his side, but it's been a fight nevertheless, and he's closer than ever now to his goal.

(By a hairsbreadth, but he's still there.)

So it's not unexpected, hearing Yuri restate it, what they're here for, what Victor promised him at the start of all this --

(I'll make you win the Grand Prix Final!)


-- just as it isn't unexpected that Yuri is teary. He's exhausted. (They're both exhausted.) He's been worried for so long. (About his skate, about if Victor might leave, about Maccachin.) It's no surprised he's feeling overwhelmed. "Yes."

This is his role, the thing he's been swamped by guilt for not doing for the last two days: being Yuri's support, his foundation, the solid thing he can lean on and believe in.

Believe in himself, because Victor does. "But first, let's go home."

He doesn't want to pull back even to follow his own advice, but Maccachin, finally fed up with being ignored, leaps at Yuri's hand where it's fisted in his coat, and sends Victor stumbling forward, laughing in relief.

(Perhaps with suspiciously bright eyes and thick voice, himself.)

"Maccachin, are you jealous? We haven't forgotten you."

Date: 2017-07-20 02:17 am (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by me (Default)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp



Yuri crouches down to Maccachin and gets his face licked clean, but not before he holds onto the wildly wagging poodle and presses his face into soft, curly fur just as Victor had, earlier. If he looked up, he might well see the heel of Victor's hand brushing beneath one eye, but though there's a damp sort of thickness to his voice and a faint gleam of moisture in his eyes, his laugh is as genuine as ever. More relieved, maybe, than happy –– he doesn't quite know what the word is for this feeling, but happy doesn't do it justice, it's more like fulfilled, or perhaps just full –– but there all the same, after two days when it felt as far out of reach as the moon or stars. "He has no idea he scared everybody."

He might have some idea. Maccachin is more perceptive than most dogs –– maybe more so than most people, even –– but the extra exuberance to his affection might simply be a function of how long Victor and Yuri have been gone. It's been weeks, and Maccachin always did love to see him after a long absence. "But he does look good."

Better than he looks. Better than Yuri looks. Of the three of them, only Maccachin now resembles the version of himself in the picture Victor had reposted to his Instagram. Yuri looks anything but carefree and joyful, and Victor still feels like death itself warmed over, but it's all fine.

He still looks perfect to Victor.

Who offers a hand to help Yuri back up, even as Maccachin leaps to lick it, a long swipe of warm wet tongue across the backs of his fingers, until he scolds: "Even if he's forgetting his manners."

It lacks heat, or firmness, or any sort of heft. Maccachin can run him over all he wants, can lick him and jump on him and shock him into a yelp by shoving a cold nose into his neck when he least expects it. Maccachin is alive, and Victor hasn't lost him yet.

Not him, and not Yuri. Be my coach until I retire.

"Let's go get your luggage."

Date: 2017-07-20 10:31 am (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by me (Default)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp



Yuri falls into step beside him, and it feels as right as it doesn't. There's already a nervous energy chasing itself around his system like ungrounded electricity because he's no longer touching Yuri and that means Yuri could be gone, again, at any time.

Which is ridiculous. Which is a paranoid thought based more in his inability to sleep and the strain of the last two, nearly three, days. Yuri isn't going anywhere. Yuri is coming home with him. He has no intention of letting Yuri out of his sight again for longer than a few seconds at a time. It shouldn't matter if they're touching or not.

But it does. It's real work not to reach out and sling his arm around Yuri's shoulder, and in the end he only doesn't do it because Yuri still has his heavy backpack strapped there, and Victor's arm would probably just be an annoying extra weight. "They said his throat might be a little sore for a while, so he should have soft food and plenty of water."

The last few days feel like a nightmare he's finally woken up from. It's difficult to believe that Maccachin was really in danger when he's trotting alongside them so cheerily right now, as perky and affectionate as ever. "Mostly they said to keep the steamed buns out of reach."

Maccachin doesn't often act out that way. He's curious, of course, and loves to eat, and happily tries bites of whatever Victor offers him, but it's unlike him to go nosing through food he knows he's not supposed to have.

Perhaps he had missed Victor and Yuri, too. It's been months since he's had to wait at home while Victor left for weeks at a time, and even with the Katsukis there to keep him company, maybe he decided he'd had enough with being good for the time being.

Or maybe he was just hungry. It's difficult to say. "How was the flight? Did you get any rest?"

Date: 2017-07-21 01:55 am (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by plastic (catch the last weekend of the last week)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp
"Very long."

Longer for Yuri, undoubtedly, but he's still exhausted from making the same flight only two, three days ago, his concept of time still jarred by the thousands of miles covered in too few, too long hours. "But you're back now."

Or, almost. Baggage first, and then the car, and then the drive to Hasetsu, but it won't be long. Yuri will be back home within the next hour, and maybe then Victor will stop feeling so anxious about losing him again. "Are you hungry? I'm sure you want to go straight home and have your mother's food, but we could stop somewhere if you like."

Now that he's thinking about it, he could probably use something to eat, too. The hours of exercise this morning hadn't managed to spark his appetite to much past a dull nudge, and even the ramen with Minako had seemed flavorless and unappetizing, but now he can feel it like he'd been hollowed out with a scoop.

It's something to consider as they round a corner towards the collection of luggage carousels, and he points, pleased. "Oh, look, your plane's luggage is already deloading."

It's one of the perks of these small commuter flights, but he could just about kiss the employees who made it possible for them to collect Yuri's bag and leave without having to wait too much longer.

Date: 2017-07-22 01:57 pm (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by me (Default)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp



He probably shouldn't feel so relieved that Yuri ate, that he won't want or need to stop on the way back to the house and the onsen and the end of this terrible day.

(But it is a relief. It feels like they're closer to home already.) "Oh, good."

He tries to imagine it doesn't sound so much more genuine than the offer to stop somewhere, if Yuri prefers, but it's a stretch. Fortunately, Yuri is already pointing, his luggage just now traveling along towards them at a sedate pace nothing like the anxiety with which Victor wants to leave, to be back already, to not have backpacks and luggage and coats and people in his way. "I'll get it."

Already making his way past Yuri and into the small group of gathering people, to cut the luggage off before it has a chance to even snake its way towards them. Maccachin opts to stay with Yuri, which is fine, because that leaves Victor with clear room to lift the luggage from the belt and set it on the floor, extending the handle to roll it along beside him. It's quick steps back to Yuri from there, and they're so close, he can feel it in his blood, like standing too near a source of electricity. "Ready to go?"

Yuri looks ready. Yuri looks beyond ready. Yuri looks like he wishes he could just will himself there and not have to deal with any of the travel in between, which Victor can appreciate.

Allowing himself to lift his free hand to the back of Yuri's shoulder, as a sort of compromise. "Let's go, Yuri."
Edited Date: 2017-07-22 01:57 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-07-22 03:20 pm (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by plastic (before the gold and glimmer)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp
The little lean Yuri makes into his hand makes him want to step closer, wrap his arm all the way around Yuri's shoulder, or drop his hand to find Yuri's, swinging there by his side. It would be so easy. The people around them might frown, but Victor doesn't care, can't bring himself to think it matters.

Not when it's been so long. (Two, three days. Forever.)

It's times like this he envies Maccachin's freedom of affection. Maccachin can jump all over Yuri and cover his face with kisses and request to be held and stroked and no one thinks it's strange. Maccachin's antics spark warm smiles from the same people who looked sternly them earlier, hugging for too long in front of the arrivals gate. It seems desperately unfair, and he's still not sure he cares enough about what other people think to hold back --

But Yuri does. He hasn't forgotten the horrified way Yuri looked at the articles posted the morning after his Shanghai free skate, full of insinuation that Victor had only stoked instead of minimized.

Yuri is more reserved than him. Yuri worries what people will think. Yuri remembers when things are appropriate or not.

(Just for once, Victor wishes he didn't care quite so much.)

Still, Yuri gravitates towards him, making Victor's heart take a sharp little hop towards his throat. "We should be home in plenty of time to catch the exhibition, but then you need to get some rest, Yuri. You look tired."

Date: 2017-07-23 02:31 pm (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by plastic (watch the season pull up its own stakes)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp
It wasn't so long ago they were walking like this in Shanghai, while Yuri grew tighter and tighter under his hand and Victor looked for a single place without people, where they could talk. Where Yuri finally exploded at him, in tears and fear and frustration, and he didn't know what to do.

(He still has a lot to learn about being a coach.)

Except everything has changed since that night in Shanghai, hasn't it? It's not just being Yuri's coach he needs to get right, anymore, it's this, too: how being without him for even a few days felt like barely living, like he was encased in walls of glass or ice.

It's Yuri gripping him at the arrivals gate like he never wants to let go. Yuri's shy acceptance of that date they never got to go on. It would have been tonight, wouldn't it? After the exhibition, maybe.

(If he'd been there, would Yuri have been in it?)

"You can sleep as late as you want to tomorrow."

Even without the extra stress of the last few days, he'd always advocated for a few days of rest after competitions, to keep from burning out before the next one. Four weeks isn't a lot of time, but it's enough to allow a day off before they really dig in. "We'll see how you feel in the afternoon, but I don't want you doing anything but some light exercises."

Something to keep Yuri's mind focused, while giving his body time to recover. "And a long soak in the hot spring."

The blast of cold air that greets them as they glass doors slide open and they walk through isn't as intense as Moscow's, but it's enough to make him happy that Yuri's as bundled up as he is. His own coat is still hanging open and his scarf is too loose to keep the winter air from slipping down around his throat, but it's fine. They'll be home soon enough.

Date: 2017-07-24 02:57 am (UTC)
fivetimechamp: by me (let's go to the ocean)
From: [personal profile] fivetimechamp
Back when he first arrived all those months ago, he wouldn't know what to do with Yuri's lack of response, of anything but that small noncommittal noise, and he would have assumed he'd done or said something wrong. That's not the case now, as they walk towards the lot where he'd left Minako's car, Maccachin trotting happily at Yuri's side. His hand tightens and then lifts away, but it isn't because he's suddenly unsure of what he's doing, saying, what Yuri's thinking: it's just cold and he isn't wearing his gloves, has to slip his fingers into his coat pocket to keep them warm.

(The onsen will feel better than ever in this cold weather.)

"Minako lent me her car –– it's over this way."

No, it's been a long while since he's been befuddled by all of Yuri's silences. True, there are some he still doesn't understand –– all those long, tense moments in Shanghai, before Yuri finally snapped, and afterwards in the hotel room when Victor couldn't seem to find solid ground on whether or not what he was doing, saying, wanted was okay -– but not this kind.

Yuri is relieved to be home. He's tired, mentally, emotionally, physically. He's had a grueling week and a half, and spent the better part of the last day on a plane. He'd been dumped onto a team of Russians he barely understands, who don't like him all that much and have no reason to, aside from the fact that Victor asked them to help him.

(Yakov. He asked Yakov.


He's not going to be able to leave that conversation ignored after this.)

Given the chance, Yuri would probably fall asleep right in the car on the way home. Except that he's determined to watch the exhibition and Victor is determined to stay with him, so it'll probably be a few hours yet before he actually does rest.

(Yes, tomorrow he can sleep as long as he wants.) "She'll be happy to see you tomorrow, too."

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勝生 勇利, Katsuki Yūri

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